Fantasy Baseball w/AJ Mass
Send your questions now and join Mass in The Show on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
AJ Mass (10:56 AM)
Good morning all... time to get back into the swing of things now that home field in the World Series has been settled... finally. Happy to take your Q's for the next hour, including those regarding the Top-340 rankings we published earlier in the week. Let's get this ball rolling, shall we?
Better pitcher for the second half (in a keeper league: Jair Jurrjens or Jered Weaver?
AJ Mass (10:58 AM)
Whether in a keeper league or not doesn't change my opinion that Weaver will be slightly better in the 2nd half than Jair. What the keeper league factor means is that I'd consider keeping Jair over Jered b/c I'd rather have him in 09 and beyond.
Looking at the new rankings, there is a huge disparity in how you guys rank Jair Jurrjens. Berry has him 100 or so and Harris has him NR. Your thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:00 AM)
Obviously I fall somewhere in-between, at 196. What most critics of the rankings fail to grasp is that when we say Player X is #300 from here on out, it doesn't necessarily mean we don't think they are in Top 25 overall for the year... the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.
You buying Hank Blalock for the rest of the year? He's available on my waiver wire and I need a 1B, I currently have Cantu.
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Funny enough, I actually have them ranked back-to-back in my list. Neither option is the be-all end-all but since the ??? are still looming on Blalock, I might stick with Cantu as the safer pick.... but if you are in the lower part of the standings, why not take the chance.
Big Z at 340, really, you should be working in the mail room in Bristol.
AJ Mass (11:05 AM)
Let's talk about Zambrano at 340. I'm not saying Carlos isn't a Top-20 pitcher. If he goes say, 7-7 hereon out, then at 17-9 he's still a stud for 2008 and a high draft pick in 2009... but from this day forward, he's only 7-7, which is closer to how I think he'll perform.
Bryan (Montclair, NJ
How about Mike Pelfrey? He's cutting down walks, and the K's might start coming....big time sleeper?
AJ Mass (11:08 AM)
A lot of Pelfrey Q's... He's probably in the neighborhood of 80th overall SP based on his stats, but the fact is that he's playing for a team that will win more than they'll lose from this point forward. Not as good as the recent numbers, but not as bad as the first few months when the Mets weren't winning...
Scott, Groton CT
I don't think enough people realize the top 340 ranks are based on a 5x5 10 team mixed league where the value of starters is severely depressed. People should just go position by position and adjust based on their league.
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
It's a valid point there Scott... hitters contribute to 5 cats, and a starter at most contributes to 4... and those who aren't striking people out only contribute to 3.... Plus with 50 pitchers in active lineups, out of 150 in starting rotations, it's easier to find a replacement than at say 1B with 10 out of 30 active.
Fernando (Pembroke Pines)
Polanco or Kendrick the rest of the season?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
I have Howie at #8 at 2B and Polanco at #11.
The Nate (Pittsburgh)
Why do all the fantasy experts keep questioning my second half performance? After slowing down in June, I've been scorching hot in July and I lead the league in doubles!
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
It's not like anyone is suddenly saying he's going to be #450 outfielder... it's a fine line to dance. Rank him at #10 and people will whine and say "He's never done this before" Rank him at #100 and they'll say "Are you nuts? Don't you see what he's done so far this year." It's really no-win to try and please everyone, so you go with what you believe... I have him #40 overall.
Charlie (Syracuse, NY)
I've been asking this question all week and have yet to get an answer. I was curious about Mike Aviles. He doesn't even crack the top 27 shortstops on the updated rankings and I was wondering if that was on purpose or if he was forgotten. Thanks!
AJ Mass (11:16 AM)
It's more of a combination of small sample size... if you go by raw numbers thus far, he's cracking the Top 100... but if everyone has him just outside top 340, then he won't show up. Guys will fall through the cracks.
As a Chicago Cubs fan, I am so sick of the ESPN fantasy team trashing Zambrano. When he does have a serious injury you can say told you so, but if you predict it for 5 straight years, is it really a good call? That is all.
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
I hardly think "the team" is trashing Z... and don't act like he hasn't been hurt at all this year, b/c he has. IMO, he has been fortunate to go 10-2 in first half, b/c K's are way down... now you are free to say he'll turn that stat around and continue his great start. I personally think it will catch up to him. Both are valid interpretations of the fact he's not been as dominant this season as in past. But that's why it's called an opinion... nobody will know which it is until the season is done.
Who do you like better Volquez, Peavy, or Ervin Santana?
AJ Mass (11:21 AM)
I like Jake the best for the second half, though all would make my Top 20.
AJ, seriously...please answer this one. You have Carlos Zambrano getting the decision in 14 starts after the break? That would be pretty much every start he makes. Are you also suggesting all the Cubs are downgraded after the break? It seem so if you're projecting numbers like that for Z (#1 starter).
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
Scott, I threw 7-7 out there as an example, not a projection. Let me ask everyone this - a pitcher goes for double-digit wins in the first half and has ERA in neighborhood of 3.00 and he isn't ranked from this point forward. Is that all it takes to scream and rant and rave? It is my opinion... that's all.
Stop picking on us! It's been 100 years of torment...on the North side.
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
Hey, I still have Ramirez, Soriano and Soto in top 50... I don't have a secret vendetta against the Cubbies.
I don't even care if they are any good, just tell me that Erik Bedard, Aaron Harang, and Max Scherzer will take their turn in the rotation every time in the month of September! Pretty please with a "Mass" of cherries on top!!!
AJ Mass (11:29 AM)
Harang I have my doubts. I would hope that the D-backs make the Scherzer plunge. Bedard will be in the rotation if he's not in Seattle. If he stays with M's I think "an injury" will emerge in September, whether he has one or not.
THAT IS OUR POINT!!! He has won 10 games and has an ERA around 3.00 and he isn't ranked!!
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
Actually I was talking about Kyle Lohse, who Nate didn't rank... but I'm glad you have equal outrage there. It's not a roll call of who HAS BEEN good. It's FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.
jeez, cubs fans are persistent... what're your thoughts on josh johnson, clay buchholtz, and kevin slowey? could you also rank those three along with guthrie please?
AJ Mass (11:34 AM)
I really like the Twins rotation... Baker and Slowey especially. I have Slowey then Buchholz in my rankings. I want to see more of Johnson before I judge his return and Guthrie is not in my 340.
Hafner worth holding onto in a 10 team mixed?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
I have him in top-200, but I can see that he hamstrings you when it come to positional flexibility and you might have better luck with a guy who can be used at multiple spots.
Thoughts on Laird when he comes back? Does he get the majority of time behnid the plate?
AJ Mass (11:37 AM)
I think Salty didn't grab the job the way Washington would have liked. Laird will get probably a 60-40 split at first, and could easily grab the job back with moderate hitting skills.
Will Jason "Magnum PI" Giambi remain valuable in the second half?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
Even more so with Matsui seemingly more hurt than expected.
Timmy (Raleigh NC)
Broxton takes over in LA. Think he keeps the job? Can he be the guy for the next few years there? Saito is old (38 I think) and not signed for next year.
AJ Mass (11:40 AM)
They've been grooming Broxton for a while now. I think this stint is certainly an audition for 09. If Saito returns, he gets it back, but I wouldn't expect a re-sign if Broxton does well.
Could you please rank Lind, Bruce, and Ethier for the 2nd half?
AJ Mass (11:41 AM)
Bruce, Ethier, Lind... though I really like Adam a lot and I'm pulling for him
Jon (Buffalo, NY)
I am in Roto League. I would get Orlando Cabrera and give Harang and Juan Pierre. I currently start Aybar at SS so I need the help and am deep at OF. Am I getting good value in return for these 2 players?
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Considering the injury status of both, and the fact that even when Pierre returns he might not be able to jump back into the SBs at full speed, I'd say that's terrific value.
Spalding (Nantucket, Ma.)
All the fantasy gurus are saying to sell, sell, sell on Saunders yet he is ranked 18th among A.L. starters in the rankings. Doesn't that translate to a good #3 fantasy starter?
AJ Mass (11:45 AM)
Saunders has been winning a lot of games, but his peripheral stats are nowhere near his teammates. A lot of the reason for his success though is that he's surrounded by Lackey and Santana and teams get a really different look when he throws. I think he does OK going forward, but I also think you can get value in a deal.
Kemp, Pence, or Wells in 2nd half?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
Wells' stock certainly plummets with the injury. Kemp would be my pick of the trio.
Please rank the following for the 2nd half - Sheets, Harden, & Dice K
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
I have them Sheets well ahead, then Harden and Dice-K.
Matt (Cupertino, CA)
Ellsbury's value in 5x5 Roto? SP or RP I could get for him. Thanks
AJ Mass (11:50 AM)
His value is dependent on SB. Take those away and he's run of the mill. So, you need to target a team that needs SB or you won't get value for him. It's a relative game at this point of the season...
Bryan (C-Bus, OH)
Why take questions that ask about the value of a player? Like "what could I get for Ellsbury". Just point them to the rankings you guys worked so hard on.
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Not everyone's individual rankings are reflected, and I wanted to use the question to remind folks that "value" is always league-dependent. It's something that needs to be repeated b/c a trade of A-Rod for Kaz Matsui seems ridiculous, but as the season gets shorter, a deal like that could win you your league if all you need is a few stolen bases.
Any truth to the rumor of Bonds to Yankees? Good time to stash him?
AJ Mass (11:53 AM)
I would be flabbergasted if Bonds ended up playing anywhere this year... especially in pinstripes.
Speaking of AROD trades, I trade Aramis Ramirez and B Morrow for ARod? Is this overturnable? I think I win out on this trade, but it isnt that bad is it?
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
Not at all... if anything I would think the Morrow throw in is what would cause most people to complain that you're giving away too much.
In last week's chat you ranked Longoria, then Braun, and then MCabrera. Looking at the rankings Karabell was highest at 33 for Longoria but the lowest for Braun was 21 and Cabrera was 18. This didn't seem to make sense if you were higher on Longoria over the other two. Were your high and low predictions missing on these or did you feel embarrassed submitting those around your colleagues?
AJ Mass (12:00 PM)
Congrats Mike, you finally phrased the question in a form that I could print... There's several different factors when creating these lists... one is where I rank the players right now, then where I see them ending up, and subtracting the difference... then there's the added factor of positional scarcity that has to be factored in. I like to make my rankings lists based on the stats and not weak them too much with my own personal biases. As such, sometimes once I run all the math, I end up with players moving up or down on my lists... but that doesn't change my gut calls on many of these... which is what I try to dole out in chats, and I really like Evan going forward, even if my ultimate submission to the list placed him slightly below them.
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
Time for a couple more...
Trade Bradley for Figgins??
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
I would stick with Bradley.
AJ - what're your thoughts on Holliday if he leave Colorado?
AJ Mass (12:04 PM)
Depends where he ends up, of course, but I not suddenly dropping him from #6 to #100. There could be some negative impact from a lack of Coors, but he's not a 100% creation of that park either.
Everybody is after the Mass man because he gives you his unique opinion. I think the whole reason why people are here is to get some insight above and beyond the accepted norms. Otherwise, we would just look at the rankings and that would be that. I appreciate the attempts to think outside-the-box. Football question: If you were looking to gain an advantage from the Favre situation, what WR would you stash in hopes that he gets the QB on his team? I think this is a great time to grab a speculative sleeper. Your thoughts?
AJ Mass (12:06 PM)
Thanks for the support, Dave. I don't think Favre plays this year... I'd love to see him in Atlanta and Laurent Robinson would be the guy I'd love to see him turn into this year's Greg Jennings, though...
Pick 2- romo, s jax, mcgahee
AJ Mass (12:06 PM)
I let Willis go.
Mike (Columbia, SC)
Keeper - McCutchen, LaPorta, Weiters, Price. I've got #2 waiver.
AJ Mass (12:07 PM)
Price. I'm a sucker for the franchise pitcher.
AJ Mass (12:08 PM)
That all the time I have folks... they're pushing me out the door. Thanks for the Q's... we'll have another chat at 3pm! We'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!